Thursday, June 05, 2008

Start the EURO 2008 party

Switzerland plays the Czech Republic and Portugal take on Turkey Saturday -- the first day of the 2008 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS of what the rest of the world calls football.
I usually support ENGLAND in these affairs -- the team won the World Cup the year I was born, after all, so I always consider the destiny factor.
The Three Lions failed to qualify for EURO 2008, however, so I am throwing my support behind the team of my father's family.
The Swedes open their tournament account Tuesday against Greece, the unlikely winners of the 2004 and most recent edition of the European Championship.
The pundits generally give Sweden high marks for attacking play, thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Allback and Johan Elmander, but not-so-high marks for the other facets of the team's game. Most forecasts predict Sweden will finish third in their group (which includes Russia and Spain, in addition to Greece).
Only the top two teams from each group advance, so Sweden could be heading home after only three games.
No matter. Sweden's fans could make following the team a joy that extends beyond the results on the field.
Here is how Britain's Observer newspaper recently described Swedish supporters:
"Expect lots of attractive blond women in skimpy blue-and-yellow outfits and lots of unattractive, sweaty men in Viking gear."
Now then... Where did I misplace my Viking gear?


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